Thursday, November 10, 2016
Brooke and I headed up to Orlando after dropping the kids off at school. As usual, our first thoughts were concerning where we would eat next and we landed on a Brazilian Fast Food place call Mrs. Potato . We shared a fully loaded (bacon on the side) Rosti Potato and an appetizer and couldn’t finish it together. It was my first introduction to a Rosti (like an omelette, but replace the egg mix with hash browned potatoes) and it was delicious. After lunch, we headed directly to Islands of Adventure. It was strangely empty, and we walked straight onto the newly refurbished Incredibke Hulk roller coaster. This ride, along with Dueling Dragons and Rip Ride Rock It, require that you remove all items from your pocket and place it in the provided lockers. We did so, had a great time on the nearly empty ride and then went back to collect our belongings. As Brooke tugged at her purse from the top row of lockers, my phone got caught underneath it, and once dragged over the void below, fell directly onto the concrete walkway, resulting in a fully cracked screen and non-operable phone. We still had her phone, so no big issue, but it was very difficult to get used to not having a phone for the rest of the trip (I felt some withdrawals for sure). We also rode Dr Doom’s Fear Fall and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, getting close to satisfying Brooke’s love of roller coaster thrills, but still needing more at Universal Studios. Our first stop was to the American Express Lounge to enjoy some A/C, cold water and snacks. After, we were thwarted twice at Universal Studios with The Mummy and Rip Ride Rock It both breaking down while we were in line, but we did make it through single rider line at Men In Black and I posted my highest score to date (not including the red button bonus) and FINALLY beat Brooke head to head. We called it a theme park day and decided to head a little early to the AirBnB we booked for the night in Downtown Orlando.
We found the apartment building and guessed on where to park and headed in. We asked the front desk agent how to meet our host for AirBnB, gave her name and the apartment number. He called and let us up. We rode up to the 20th story and knocked on the door. We were asked to wait for a couple of minutes and then we were let in. The hostess’s first question was if we had told the front desk agent about AirBnB. We said yes and her face went white. She had given us poor instructions and never mentioned not to mention it. Anyways, it took her another 15 minutes to finish tidying up and then she left without much further instructions. The views from the 20th story apartment of Lake Eola were amazing and we were within walking distance of everywhere we wanted to go that night and morning.
Other than the fact that we may be asked to leave at any moment and we were staying in someone’s private residence (she stated that she lived there, and left only when she had guests coming), it was perfect. We overcame these potential hurdles and got ready for our night. Brooke had discovered a Thornton Park Wine and Art Walk event that was only $15 each and sounded great. We headed to the Eo Inn to purchase our tickets and start the tour. It was a great way to enjoy some drinks, light food and explore Thornton Park ahead of our dinner reservations. My favorite was the Moscow Mule and Brooke’s was a blue drink (curacao, malibu and pineapple juice). We stopped by at least 20 places, walked over 2 miles and had an absolute blast.
This led up to our dinner reservations at Soco . The food was fantastic and we got to enjoy eating outside in the beautiful weather and people watch those on the Wine and Art Walk while we ate. After dinner, we decided to grab an Uber to make it back, since we had walked quite a bit that day. A short ride back and a long wait for the elevator later, we were soon fast asleep (before 10 PM).
Friday, November 11, 2016
The next day we awoke early and headed down to Lake Eola, partly because we needed to move the car from street parking, partly because we went to sleep so early the night before and partly because we love Lake Eola. Brooke likes to feed the ducks, swans and geese and I like running the .85 mile lap around the lake until one of us gets tired of it. Brooke found a mommy muscovy duck with 11 little ducklings, along with many other of the ducks she had seen on previous trips.
I completed 7 laps and we walked another lap around the lake together. We hopped into the car and headed back to the apartment to get ready for the day and “check out”. Breakfast at Se7en Bites was our next stop. Brooke had an amazing Bread Pudding breakfast while I had a platter. The food is beyond amazing. Next, a trip to Old Navy and Walgreens and then an “upscale” consignment sale in Windermere. After Brooke found what she wanted there, we headed back to Universal to hit up Rip Ride Rock It since it was broken down the day before. Unfortunately, it was broken down again, but we were able to ride the Mummy and Men In Black (Brooke won this time by a lot), and visit the American Express Lounge before leaving for Epcot. We ate at Nine Dragons which has great food and reasonable prices for a sit down in Epcot. Next, we caught Sister Hazel in concert at the 530 show for Eat to the Beat.
Epcot was more crowded than we had ever experienced. After fighting through the crowds from the American Showcase Theatre back to our car, we headed home to end the night away.